National holds lead in latest opinion poll
By Alan Tristram
National (48%) holds its lead over Labour/ Greens (39%) as ‘Dirty Politics’ revelations provide a new challenge for PM John Key
The latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows gain in support for National (48%, up 2%) now with a significant lead over a potential Labour/Greens alliance (39%, down 3%) exactly a month before the New Zealand Election on September 20.
Support for Key’s Coalition partners has fallen slightly overall with the Maori Party 1% (down 0.5%), Act NZ (0.5%, unchanged) and United Future 0.5% (unchanged).
Support for the Labour Party is 27.5% (down 2.5%), the Greens are down 0.5% to 11.5%. Potential ‘king-makers’ NZ First looks set to return to Parliament with 6.5% (up 1.5%) – the highest support for NZ First since September 2013, the Internet-Mana Party alliance is 2.5% (unchanged). Support for the Conservative Party of NZ is 1% (unchanged) and support for Independent/ Others is 1% (unchanged).
If a National Election were held now the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows that the result would be the Key Government being returned to Parliament.
The latest NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has risen to 139pts (up 4pts) with 63.5% (up 3.5%) of New Zealanders saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 24.5% (down 0.5%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’. The New Zealand Government Confidence Rating (139) is substantially higher than ‘across the ditch’ in Australia – Australian Government Confidence last week fell to 92.5pts (down 7pts).
Michele Levine, CEO Roy Morgan, says:
“The latest NZ Roy Morgan Poll shows National (48%) with an election-winning lead over a Labour/ Greens alliance (39%) only a month before the NZ Election. Last week’s release of Nicky Hagar’s new book ‘Dirty Politics’ has caused a stir in the media although the full impact of some of Hagar’s explosive disclosures has yet to be seen.
“In light of Hagar’s new book though it is worth remembering that ‘dirty tricks’ in politics is nothing new – Politics is ‘dirty’ and everyone knows that. What has changed in recent years is that clearly the advance of technology and the increasing role of the Internet in everyone’s lives provide a new dimension to these sorts of revelations. The Internet has opened up new levels of transparency and added an unprecedented level of scrutiny to the actions of all of us, and politicians in particular.
“Along with these technological advancements also comes increased spying from Government agencies like the Government Communications Securities Bureau (GCSB), and even more nefarious activities like hacking and collusion between Ministerial staff and bloggers to discredit opponents – as revealed in Hagar’s new book.
“In terms of the New Zealand Election though, the most important thing to assess is how Prime Minister John Key handles the revelations and the fall-out. If Key demonstrates strong leadership and competence, electors will reward Key for these qualities rather than blame him for the shortcomings of those around him – the Roy Morgan Scoop NZ Election Reactor is the best tool available to monitor how New Zealand electors judge their leaders.
“The other point to keep in mind is that timing is crucial during elections. The release of Hagar’s book a month before the election gives all the leaders time to respond, and electors will judge their response, whereas information that is revealed in the final days of an election campaign can have an immediate impact that doesn’t give time for leaders to react.
“Looking directly at today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows the main parties are essentially unchanged on the results of the 2011 NZ Election. An exception to this is the new Internet Party (1.5% support) which is set to win representation in Parliament if Mana Party Leader Hone Harawira holds his seat of Te Tai Toekerau. However, a significant difference compared to three years ago is the high Government Confidence Rating (139pts, up 4pts). This is significantly higher than immediately prior to the last election when the final pre-election New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll showed Government Confidence at 118.5, and a strong sign for Key as he seeks re-election.
“Most notably however, the ‘fourth party’ of New Zealand politics, NZ First, has increased its share of the vote to 6.5% (up 1.5%) – a level of support that would see all eight NZ First MPs returned to Parliament, and likely give NZ First Leader Winston Peters the chance to once again choose who New Zealand’s Prime Minister will be. Peters last held a Ministerial post when he served as Foreign Minister during the last term of Helen Clark’s Prime Ministership (2005-08).
“Although the ongoing discussion about ‘Dirty Politics’ appears likely to damage support for National, today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows NZ First may be the biggest beneficiary of a discredited National Government rather than the main opposition Labour and Greens parties.”